Don Bauder 7:35 p.m., June 19
Banned on the Run
In the LA Times on Saturday, there was a story about two buskers in England who were banned from performing for two years.
The problem the Birmingham City Council had, was that the men angered residents with late-night and out-of-tune renditions of songs. What makes it worse is that it was the same two songs.
What makes it worser (yeah, I'm creating a word. sue me)...is the fact that those songs were "Faith" by George Michael, and "Wonderwall" by Oasis.
When I read this story, I initially thought about making a cheap George Michael joke. Something about a person hearing this song playing outside of a public restroom. But that seemed too obvious.
I then tried to remember what Jimmy Kimmel once did with these street performers that sang horribly. It was something that involved him paying them hundreds of dollars to move from outside his offices, and going out in front of another business.
Of course, I also thought about the great joke in Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray wakes up to the same Sonny & Cher song each morning. As if waking up to an alarm and cheesy morning DJs isn't bad enough.
Maybe I was inspired by the political rants of Fred on this site...but I started to think about the legalities of all of this.
There are so many street performers in the Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village, and other areas in town.
A few guys play the saxophone; lots of people with acousic guitars, or cheesy Casio keyboards.
I'm wondering if they need permits. And because of this story out of England, I'm wondering if laws are enforced depending on how bad the performer is.
If everyone nearby likes the sounds coming from some singer, is he less likely to get hassled?
I'm now envisioning the vice squad, with a street version of Simon Cowell going around town and telling which performers have to leave.
The stoned and silly Paula Abdul character wouldn't be vice, but the drunk PB chick stumbling out of Whiskey Girl and rambling on incoherently.
The Randy Jackson character is coming out of On Broadway, shouting insults at the cops and encouraging the busker with phrases like "Don't let the man keep you down, dawg."